Banana, chocolate and tahini muffins, a variation on a Nigella recipe

Things are hard right now. For everyone generally, and for me specifically. We’ve had some family circumstances that have put everyone under strain and left me at a bit of a low ebb. I imagine a lot of you have, if not the same circumstances, similar things going on in your lives that make this third lockdown feel never-ending.

Anyway, one of the strategies I have for managing that is something I’ve talked about before on twitter – get in an early win. What I mean by that is, early on in the day (whatever that means for you), make sure you achieve something that makes you feel good, and then if the rest of the day goes to pot, you have at least done that. This could be a work-related achievement, or it could be something else. For me it’s often food! I find cooking very spiritually nourishing, and I also like the reassurance of knowing that whatever else is going on, I’m keeping myself and my loved ones well-fed. Yesterday morning I strained the stock I’d made the previous night from a chicken carcass, and used the time after the school run to quickly chop and sauté veg for a soup that would be ready for lunch. Today I looked at two sad, blackened bananas in the fruit bowl and speedily made chocolate tahini muffins based on Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate, Tahini and Banana Two Ways. This is a third way (hers are a loaf and a pudding) as my bananas were smaller than her recipe called for, and I can assure you that it works just as well. A bit of improvisation, a bit of recipe book inspiration, and a few minutes of mindful stirring and spooning. That for me is a good start to the day, and having a batch of muffins out of the oven and smelling sweet by 9:30am meant it felt a lot easier to sit down at my computer and start tackling my work agenda.

Let me know if you try out this strategy! I’d love to know if you think it helps you get going.